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Searching for credit cards? Basic credit card tips can save you money in the long and short term. Most are common sense and you could have guessed them on your own, but reading them in black in white sometimes makes them sink in.
Before you get a credit card be sure to shop and compare. Visit an online credit card site such as First Credit that lists all the cards available and the programs and determine where you fit and what fits you. Getting off on the right foot is more important than anything else.
However, millions of credit card users get stung because they either have the wrong card for their needs or do not use it in the right way.
1. Always Pay More Than The Minimum Payment
Paying just the minimum amount off your credit card balance each month will not only extend the time you are debt, it will also significantly increase the interest you pay over that time. It is also not good for improving your credit score.
For example, if you spent $1,000 on a credit card which charged the average annual rate of interest of 18.1% and only repaid the minimum each month (2.5% of the outstanding balance), it would take you 16 years and 11 months to clear the debt and in that time you’d pay $1,113.44 in interest – more than doubling the cost of the original purchase. You will no longer have what you bought and still be paying for it. Those kids toys are long broker and forgotten and now you are trying to pay for College.
You should therefore always try and pay as much as you can afford.
2. Try to Pay Your Balance off In Full Each Month.
If you can, the best way to use a credit card is to clear your debts in full every month. That way, you can ignore the interest rate charged and take advantage of the cashback and reward cards on the market to cut your costs. There are some fantastic deals out there for anyone who avoids charges by always paying off their balance within the interest-free period.
3. Move to a 0% Interest Balance Transfer Credit Card If You Currently Have an Outstanding Debt at a High Interest Rate.
If you already have debts built up on a credit card or overdraft, then a card offering a 0% deal on balance transfers could well be the best way to tackle the situation.
4. Don’t Apply for a Credit Card You Have No Chance of Being Approved for.
The best deals are reserved for customers with good credit scores, and failed credit card applications will have a detrimental impact on your credit score. Each application for credit you make reduces your credit score and also having a high denial rate and too many recent applications will hurt your chances of approval. Be honest with yourself and apply for the proper card.
5. Use a Credit Card to Improve Your Credit Rating.
Having too much credit can damage your credit score. However, having no credit history can be equally damaging. Fortunately, there are credit builder cards aimed at people looking to improve their credit ratings. These are the new micro and subprime cards. Look for them on a credit card site.
6. Don’t Miss a Payment.
Even if you cannot afford to clear your credit card balance in full every month, it is vital to make a payment of at least the minimum amount by the due date.
Otherwise, not only will you face penalty charges, you will also compromise your credit score, making it more difficult to borrow in the future.
If you are taking advantage of a 0% offer on either balance transfer or purchases, missing a payment can also result in you losing the promotional rate.
7. Set up a Direct Debit (this is one of the best tips you can get).
While you may have the best possible intentions to pay your credit card bill by the due date, we all make mistakes and it can be easy to slip up.
To avoid missing a payment and all the related disadvantages described above, it is therefore sensible to set up a direct debit to pay off at least the minimum amount each month.
8. Use a Credit Card to Spread the Cost of a Large Purchase.
The best introductory deal on purchases available at the moment is from Target and Wal-Mart. Their credit card offers extra discounts at the register when using their cards
9. Get a Cashback or Reward Credit Card.
If you pay off your bill in full every month, a cashback credit card can be a great way to get more for your money as a percentage of the amount you spend will be returned to you once a year, either as a cash payment or a reduction in your bill.
The best cashback cards on the market at the moment are the Discover Cash Back Rewards card and the American Express Platinum Cashback card.
10. Avoid Overseas Fees.
Most debit cards charge you a foreign loading fee of between 2.5% and 3.0% if you use them to make purchases while abroad, and while the majority of credit cards do too, there are some exceptions. When traveling overseas using your cards are safe and secure and offer the best commission rate. Use your credit card when traveling overseas.
First Credit has reviewed hundreds of credit products. Today’s consumers are presented with a wide array of credit card choices such as low interest credit cards, balance transfer, cash back, reward, and bad credit credit cards. So, with all of the different credit cards available, how do you choose one to fit your financial needs? Before selecting credit cards, be sure you know which credit terms and conditions apply to the account. Do you expect to pay your bills in full each month, or do you plan to pay off your purchases over time?
Consider the credit cards annual fee, finance charges, balance computation method, and whether or not there is a grace period for purchases. See our how to apply for a credit card section for more information on how to choose credit cards and other important credit card terms.
Using the links on the left simply browse online credit card applications & apply for a credit card in an instant! Simply select the category of your choice and compare all of the best credit card offers available. Then fill out a short online application and apply for a credit card in minutes. It’s simple, safe, and easy. In some cases you may receive a credit decision or instant approval within 60 seconds. Apply for a credit card now with confidence. You may also use the search function to the upper right to search for a credit card by credit score, the type of credit card, or the credit card issuer.
FirstCredit has been assisting consumers in their search for credit cards for over a Decade. What separates us from the competition? We tell you what you need to know, not just what the credit card companies want you to hear. See our credit card reviews now. See also, History of Credit Cards.